Publications in Scientific Journals:

T. Matin, M. Leong, B. Majlis, I. Gebeshuber:
"Correlating Nanostructures with Function: Structural Colors on the Wings of a Malaysian Bee";
American Institute of Physics conference proceedings, 1284 (2010), 1; 5 - 14.

English abstract:
Structural colours refer to colours generated by nanostructures, with the characteristic dimension of the
structures on the wavelength of the visible light (i.e., some hundreds of nanometers). Examples for structural colours are the colours of CDs and DVDs, the colours of soap bubbles or oil films on water (thin films), or the colours of certain butterfly wings (e.g., photonic crystals). Recently, we located a Malaysian bee with iridescent structural coloration on its wings. The generation of the colouration is still unknown, and there is no respective scientific literature available. This study presents the first AFM experiments related to the structural coloration of the carpenter bee wing. First attempts to investigate the nanostructures of the wing were performed with non-contact atomic force microscopy (AFM, Park Systems XE-100), using a Silicon nitride cantilever with a spring constant of 40 N/m and a resonance frequency of 300.000 kHz. The AFM scans reveal three layers with structures with a diameter of several hundreds of nanometres. This, rules out thin films as the structures yielding the coloration. Future research and correlation of various structures with function in this bee wings will shed light on the contribution of these structures visible in the first AFM scans to the colouration. Structural colours produced by nature inspire novel approaches in man-made colours, via biomimetics (i.e., knowledge transfer from biology to technology).

Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.